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Renewing Democratic Deliberation in Europe

The Challenge of Social and Civil Dialogue


Edited By Jean De Munck, Claude Didry, Isabelle Ferreras and Annette Jobert

Democracy is not merely a political and legal system; it depends on social and economic commitments as well.
Democracy is not only realized through elections; it requires civic participation through permanent dialogue. This volume addresses this central, yet often overlooked, issue in a series of essays by renowned scholars from Europe and the United States, reviving a concept that dates back to the foundation of the European Union: social dialogue as a fundamental part of the construction of the union.
Having neglected the social dimensions of its institutions, the European Union is currently in deep crisis. European democracy is confronted with a radical new situation and new definitions of work and family, as well as of growth and economic achievement, must be embedded in European public policy.
The contributors to this book identify social and civil dialogue as key institutional processes that will help overcome the current crisis. Civic participation can no longer be limited to representative institutions as we know them; a new combination of deliberation, bargaining and social experimentation is required. This book maps out the complexity of this vital issue and its implications for the future of the European democratic project.


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PART II SECOND CHALLENGE: TOWARD A NEW INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS FRAMEWORK? 95 Introduction Part I of this book explores the contours of a new form of social and economic democracy, which are mapped around the redefinition of employment and prosperity. Part II explores another challenge, that of institution building in the face of globalisation and the regulatory changes that accompany it. Institution building in Europe has been both a channel for the powerful processes of globalisation at work in con- temporary society and at the same time an attempt to respond to these processes. Are we witnessing the dawn of a new era of global-scale (post)indus- trial relations? Industrial relations, as we know, developed in a national context, and a significant portion of the academic literature in the field has sought to identify national variants in modes of economic regula- tion. The emergence of a transnational level is therefore something of a revolution in the field. As Part II of this book will show, the emergence of this global dimension of society is undeniable; indeed, two forms of it may already be distinguished: the first, “European social dialogue,” has already been formalised and institutionalised. The second, nascent and informal, has come about as multinational corporations have begun signing International Framework Agreements. Society’s global dimen- sion neither abolishes nor subsumes the dimensions it encloses; rather, it adds to them in a problematic way. The existence of this global dimen- sion is crucial if we are to address such issues as sustainable...

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